Exclusive: Unified Pictures Launches Kickstarter for Vampire Hunter D Comic

posted on by Karen Ressler
Company shares concept art, story details

California-based production studio Unified Pictures announced with ANN on Thursday that it has launched a Kickstarter to create an original Vampire Hunter D comic book based on a story written by original author Hideyuki Kikuchi. The project, titled Vampire Hunter D: Message from Mars is seeking to raise US$25,000 by August 7.

The Kickstarter will be exclusively for the comic book, and will not affect the animated television series Unified Pictures is co-producing with Japanese CGI animation studio Digital Frontier (Resident Evil: Degeneration, Tekken: Blood Vengeance, Mighty No. 9). Unified Pictures' Kurt Rauer described the comic project as a "a bit of a test market."

Michael Broussard (Telltale Games' The Walking Dead game, Witchblade, Civil War: The Initiative comics) will provide the art and Brandon Easton (M.A.S.K., Civil War II: Choosing Sides) is writing the script. Christopher Shy is handling visual development. Kikuchi and his publishing group are reviewing the pages. Los Angeles-based comics distributor Stranger Comics is a production partner.

Unified Pictures shared exclusive concept art for the comic (above) but emphasized that it was not the final model for D.

The story adapts Kikuchi's short story "Message From Cecile," which was published at a fan event in Japan. The story is not set on earth, and will show some of D's early years as a vampire hunter.

The comic will be full-color and published in larger, single-issue American comic style. The company plans to later compile the issues into a graphic novel.

Kikuchi began the novel series in 1983 and Asahi Shimbun Publications published the 30th in February. The story follows D, a half-human, half-vampire who hunts vampires in a desolate far future. Dark Horse Comics publishes Kikuchi's original novel series in North America, and Digital Manga Publishing releases the manga adaptation by Saiko Takaki.

The novel series previously inspired an original video anime in 1985 and the Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust film in 2000. The film was co-produced by Vampire Hunter D's American licensing company Urban Vision, and dubbed in English before it was dubbed in Japanese.

Sentai Filmworks re-released the 1985 Vampire Hunter D anime in August with a new English dub in addition to the Japanese language track. Discotek Media rereleased Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust in September without the Japanese dub track.

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